Apple’s iOS 17 is available for download Monday. The company announced the new software during its unveiling of the iPhone 15 last week.
The new software comes with plenty of features for Apple users to take advantage of. Here are seven new features to look forward to:
1. Leaving a FaceTime message
FaceTime is becoming a little more like traditional phone calls. When someone doesn’t pick up your phone call, you have the option of leaving a message for them to call you back or to let them know why you called.
Now Apple users can do the same with FaceTime calls. Users will now have the option of leaving an audio or video message if their FaceTime call goes unanswered, according to Apple.
The video message can be taken with either the front or back camera, and all of the video effects available in FaceTime will be available for the video messages.
2. Check in safety features
Through iOS 17, Apple is giving users access to more safety features. The software includes two “check in” options for users.
Users can “check in” with loved ones after a certain duration of time to let them know they’re safe. If you’re home alone when the plumber is stopping by, you can set a time and your phone will ask you to “check in” and confirm that you’re all right when the time has passed.
Users will also have the option of “checking in” for a destination. You can set your destination, and your phone will detect when you’ve arrived and will automatically alert your loved one. For example, after a late night flight, your loved one will know when you’ve arrived at your home or hotel without you having to pull out your phone and send a quick text.
If your phone notices you aren’t progressing toward your destination or your time duration has expired, it will ask you to confirm that you’re okay. If you don’t respond, it will alert a loved one.
These features are an alternative to sharing your location that can also give your loved ones peace of mind.
3. Live voicemail transcripts
The new live voicemail feature will let you read a live transcript of a voicemail someone is leaving for you and give you the option of answering their call.
This feature will not work with phone numbers identified as spam. Those calls will automatically be declined. It will work with unknown numbers if you have “Silence Unknown Callers” on.
4. Improvements to audio messages
Some messages can’t be put into words. The audio message feature has become a solution to that problem and alternative to calling. The feature will have a few improvements when users download iOS 17.
Users will now be able to pause audio messages when they’re in the middle of recording a message. This will allow them to collect their thoughts and avoid rambling. This will also allow you to quickly answer the question of someone you’re with without prematurely ending your audio message.
Transcriptions of audio messages will also be available. This is the feature I am most looking forward to. This will be a helpful way to ensure that you’ve answered and responded to everything mentioned in the audio message you’re responding to without having to listen to the message multiple times.
5. The Journal app
The release of iOS 17 will debut a new app: Journal. Yes, there is already a Notes app that can double as your electronic journal, but the Journal app has some features that will make it easier to journal.
Your iPhone will send you journaling suggestions of moments you may want to memorialize and write about based on information found in “your photos, location, music, workouts, and more — all using on-device machine learning,” according to Apple.
Examples of writing prompts you might receive are “What was the highlight of your trip?” or “What’s the story behind these 5 photos?”
6. Setting up Apple Cash allowances
If your child is more focused on saving money to go towards their favorite app or game rather than a new toy, iOS 17 has a solution to make allowance easier for parents. Parents will now have the option to pay their children’s allowance with Apple Cash.
Recurring payments can be set up through Apple Cash and be sent directly to your child’s device. Payments can be managed under Family Sharing.
Users can also set up recurring payments for their rent.
7. Mental health features
Mental health is being prioritized in iOS 17 with multiple new features dedicated to it. Apple users will now be able to log their daily mood and emotions in the Health app. They will also be able to compare those logged emotions with aspects of their lifestyle like their amount of sleep, exercise and time spent in daylight.
Users can also complete mental health assessments commonly used in clinics right in the Health app. Upon completion, the assessments can be downloaded as PDFs that you can share with your doctor.
What iPhones are compatible with iOS 17?
The following phones are compatible with iOS 17:
- iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max
- iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
- iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR
- iPhone SE (2nd generation and 3rd generation)